Life of the Land: Articulations of a Native Writer
264pp. September 2017
Life of the Land: Articulations of a Native Writer
Author: Naone Hall, Dana;
Life of the Land: Articulations of a Native Writer explores the inexhaustible relationship of the Hawaiian people to their native land. Dana Naone Hall’s writings cover more than three decades of her political and cultural engagement in public, federal, state, and county processes. As an activist with poetic sensibilities, Naone Hall demonstrates how meticulous analysis coupled with the power of the imagination can unlock new ways of seeing and relating to places that may not be immediately recognized as retaining profound Hawaiian elements. In her poem, “Keone‘ō‘io Fishpond,” she encourages,

If you do not see
how those here raised
the soft-nosed needlefish,
Look again.

A nationally recognized poet, Naone Hall’s decades of effective advocacy for Native Hawaiian and environmental issues began in 1984 as a founding member of Hui Alanui o Mākena, an organization that successfully prevented the closing of the Old Mākena Road (including the ancient Alaloa known as the “King’s Highway” or “Pi‘ilani Trail”) fronting the Maui Prince Hotel. She was at the forefront of the Native Hawaiian burial movement born during the struggle to protect the multitude of iwi kūpuna resting in the sand dunes of Honokahua, Maui. Efforts there led to amendments to Hawai‘i State historic preservation laws, including new protections for Native Hawaiian burial sites and establishing Island Burial Councils for Hawai‘i.

Naone Hall defines activism as “99 percent trench work” and we see just a fraction of this work reflected in her writings. We clearly see her take every opportunity to speak for the kūpuna and the lands in which their bones are planted. By encouraging engagement to benefit the life of the land—to protect and restore cultural sites across the islands—she ensures that “the life of the land will continue to be perpetuated for future generations.” This book will serve as a companion and guide to those engaged in protecting the sustained presence of Native Hawaiians on and in the land.

36 illustrations

Distributed for Dana Hall
Dana Naone Hall’s kuleana as a Hawaiian gives great purpose and meaning to her life, animated by her sense of justice and unflinching courage under fire. Among her accomplishments is an impressive record of resolving very contentious issues involving development projects and Native Hawaiian burials, earning her a special place in Hawai‘i’s history." —Moses Haia

"In my thinking, traditions are not monolitihic. They must be continually refreshed at the roots by the present and next generations. This is your challenge and birthright as ‘Ōiwi in the twenty-first century.And so Dana Naone Hall tasks us, as she was tasked by Maui kūpuna whose insights she lovingly shares. But first she teaches, sharing over thirty years of carefully crafted work. Testimony, letters,and interventions that might have remained buried in public records instead emerge, interpreted with reflections and poetry.These writings hold wisdom. How to weave diverse forms of knowledge—story and policy, past and present, fact and felt. How to carry the heartbreak and joy ever at the surface of Hawaiian life. How tocarry on.This book is a gift, from one who has focused her gifts on the work of her people, to all who strive to bring life to the land." —Mehana Blaich Vaughan

"Dana Naone Hall deftly weaves art and activism, memory and experience, and community and politics,providing a rare and historic glimpse into key moments of critical issues of aloha ‘āina. This book documents an important period of modern and culturally based grassroots activism (1980s to 2015) to protect and preserve Hawaiian ‘āina and their precious resources.Life of the Land exemplifies po‘e aloha ‘āina in a contemporary context. It provides insights to how and why the words of Kauikeaouli, Kamehameha III—ua mau ke ea o ka ‘āina i ka pono—still matter. In a time when the disastrous effects of human-induced climate change loom, Life of the Land is a call to action, providing inspiration and hope to all of us to take up our collective kuleana to be po‘e aloha ‘āina." —Ku‘ualoha Ho‘omanawanui
Author: Naone Hall, Dana;
Dana Naone Hall continues to advocate for the protection of coastal resources and shoreline access, as well as the preservation of historic and cultural sites. She lives in Ha‘ikū, Maui.